In Australia, Businesses Are Getting Hit With A $500 Fee Designed To Kill Solar Power

This article was originally posted at Climate Progress. View the original article here.  The government of Queensland, Australia is just beginning to implement a new energy policythat changes the way businesses are charged for electricity, a policy that the solar … Continue reading In Australia, Businesses Are Getting Hit With A $500 Fee Designed To Kill Solar Power

Australia’s biggest coal state plans for life beyond coal

Originally posted at The Conversation. View the original post here. We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that. – Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, June 2012. It … Continue reading Australia’s biggest coal state plans for life beyond coal

RET Watch: Qld sugar producer “nervous” about renewables target cut

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 11.06.19 AMA Queensland sugar producer selling clean energy to the grid has expressed concern about a possible cut the the Renewable Energy Target.

According to the Central Telegraph, Mackay Sugar have made a “solid investment” in cogeneration from crop waste and “want to make sure their future is stable.”

In 2012 Mackay Sugar opened a $120 million, 38MW cogeneration plant that generates enough electricity for one third of Mackay–cutting around 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

“Our biggest concern was with the unwinding of the RET,” Mackay Sugar chairman Andrew Cappello told the Central Telegraph. “I mean this is where we attract a lot of value for this cogeneration plant.” 

“This was a huge investment for us,” added Capello. “Given the size of our business, we have taken a pretty big risk. Until the main outcome (from) the review, we will remain a little nervous.”

Mr Capello’s concern is well-founded. The RET Review panel chaired by climate change denier Dick Warburton and stacked in favour of fossil fuel interests.
art-tony-abbott-620x349The Abbott government has done nothing to allay those fears. Continue reading “RET Watch: Qld sugar producer “nervous” about renewables target cut”

Even under a conservative government, coal-fired electricity has no future

Published by The Conversation. View original article.


Coal-fired electricity may have little or no economic future in Australia, a new analysis has found. While the new government seems determined to turn its back on renewable energy, our study shows that even without a carbon price, and even with the assumption that carbon capture and storage will eventually become commercially available, coal may not be able to compete with renewable electricity.

Carbon capture and storage captures CO2 emitted by fossil-fuelled power stations, compressing and transporting it by pipeline, and burying it in repositories deep underground. We modelled a range of fossil fuel scenarios with CCS, and then compared their economics with that of our previously published 100% renewable electricity scenario based on commercially available wind, solar and biomass technologies. Continue reading “Even under a conservative government, coal-fired electricity has no future”

Wind power the future for Cloncurry

Even in the far reaches of Australia, the benefits of wind energy are gaining interest among communities.  The small town of Cloncurry can see a big future in wind.  The North West Star reports on the Mayor’s proposal:

northweststarGOLD paved streets and more cash in the coffers than people know how to spend – this could be Cloncurry’s future if the council’s wind power plans take flight.

Friends of the Earth Australia renewable projects coordinator Leigh Ewbank said the ‘visionary’ idea could see the shire follow in the footsteps of a small French village that increased their budget from $573,000 to $3.29 million after installing 11 wind turbines.

“Income generated by a wind farm in the small French village of Afrons has resulted in a five-fold increase in the town’s budget,” he said.

“The town of 200 is struggling to spend all of the revenue and it led Afrons mayor Alain Couzinia to remark, “It’s as if a rain of gold fell on the village”.”

Mr Ewbank said wind farms create jobs and a drought-proof income streams for farmers, neighbours and communities.

“With political leadership, a wind farm strengthening the Cloncurry economy is a real possibility,” he said. Continue reading “Wind power the future for Cloncurry”

Solar flagships ‘picking losers’ with gas hybrid

After the disappointing news that Mildura missed out on federal funding for a solar power plant, we also had the news that the Areva solar-thermal plant for Chinchilla, in Queensland, is to receive funding – and will be backed up by gas. Chinchilla is in the heart of the area where coal-seam gas is being extracted by destructive “fracking” techniques, of which Friends of the Earth is part of the campaign against. Below is the press release from Beyond Zero Emissions on the decision. 22 June 2011: Labor’s Solar Flagships: Smoke and Mirrors….and coal seam gas The Federal Government’s choice … Continue reading Solar flagships ‘picking losers’ with gas hybrid

North Queensland wind farm gets approval

The following item comes from The Cairns Post, journalist: Tony Stickley Tablelands Regional Council approves $90m wind farm Tablelands Regional Council yesterday gave permission for a new $90 million wind farm at Evelyn near Ravenshoe – but with stringent conditions. Councillors approved an application by operator Transfield Services to build 17 turbines on the site at Tumoulin Rd. Transfield says the turbines – which are 125m in height, equivalent to a 35-storey building – will produce enough electricity to power 15,000 homes and reduce the carbon dioxide output by 25 million tonnes over the lifetime of the project. Council officers … Continue reading North Queensland wind farm gets approval

Cooktown one step closer to wind farm

The following comes from The Cairns Post, journalist: Heather Beck THE Archer Point wind farm project near Cooktown has taken an important step forward with news of a lease agreement between traditional owners and proponents National Power. The site is slated for a 50-60 turbine wind farm with a generation capacity of 120mW – enough to power Cape York Peninsula while supplementing Port Douglas and Cairns. Cook Shire Council is in favour of the project, which will provide jobs and may open up possibilities for light industry once a regular power supply and barge access is established. Mayor Peter Scott … Continue reading Cooktown one step closer to wind farm